A home-and-home series between the Rockets and the Ghostriders saw each team utilize their home-ice advantage, as the two teams split the two weekend games. While Saturday’s contest in Fernie saw a bushel-full of goals, Friday’s matchup was a ’nail-biter’……………
Friday, Dec.2nd, 2022 Rockets 3 Fernie 2
It was a classic Eddie Mountain Division battle on Friday at the Plywood Palace, as the two clubs matched skills every inch of the way.
The opening period saw the Rockets come out strong from the initial face-off, with good pressure in the Fernie end. In the first ten minutes, Golden had a pair of powerplay chances but couldn’t connect, as Aidan Kruhlak in the Fernie net managed to turn everything aside. After the midway mark, the visitors turned the tables a little and, on the strength of a couple of man-advantages of their own, began to pressure Golden.
But the Rockets were equal to the task and managed to grab a 1-0 lead. At 18:16, Brydon Foster and Aleksander Jirousek combined to keep the puck just inside the Fernie blueline and delivered a perfect feed to Dominic Fiorentino, whose 20-foot wrist shot through a screen in front found the back of the net.
It didn’t take long for the Rockets to expand their margin in the second period. Just :56 seconds in Ethan Aebly’s hard drive from the point handcuffed the Fernie goalie, and Jordan Lario quickly pounced on the rebound, to tuck the puck into the short side for the 2-0 lead.
The Rockets were looking good at the start of the final frame, with a powerplay opportunity, but couldn’t find the range. And then, the visitors came storming back.
Through the first two periods, shots were fairly even. But in the third period, the Fernie offence came to life, outshooting Golden 17-2 in the frame. Rocket’s netminder Levi Hall was nothing short of outstanding, despite the fact that the Ghostriders connected twice on goals by Scott Sinclair and Cole Fournier to tie the game at 2-2. With two minutes left in regulation, it appeared Fernie had struck for the winner, but the goal was negated because of a high-stick infraction. The game was deadlocked at 2-2.
The 5-minute OT session solved nothing, as we entered the player shootout, or suitably dubbed “The Levi Hall Show”.
The Rocket goalkeeper, for the 4th time this season, was absolutely unbeatable in the shootout, turning aside every Fernie sniper. While Levi was performing his heroics in net, Rocket’s crafty forward Dominic Fiorentino scored what proved to be the winning goal, with a nice move and a quick wristshot just inside the post.
Final score was 3-2. Rockets were outshot 37-19.
Saturday, Dec.3rd, 2022 Fernie 7 Rockets 3
The Ghostriders had things pretty much their own way in the Saturday rematch.
In a penalty-filled sixty minutes, the southern club held periods leads of 3-2 and 5-2, enroute to an eventual 7-3 win.
Fernie opened up the first period with a goal after just :37 seconds, and again struck for a shorthanded marker minutes later. The Rockets briefly tied things up at 2-2 on the strength of tallies by rearguards Nathan Kaye and Liam Furlong, but that was as close as they would get in this contest.
Rockets playmaking artist Levi Lamotte added a third Golden goal midway through the third period. The KickingHorse stars goaltending duties in the game were split between Carson Cairns and Matthew Kuhnlein .
Final score was 7-3. Shots were fairly even at 43-39 for Fernie.
Rockets “slip” to 3rd place in the Eddie Mountain Division, just a single point out of top spot behind Columbia Valley and Kimberley.
Rockets next home game is December 9th, when the Neil Murdoch Division Nelson Leafs will be in town to match skills against the local stars.